Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Mike12345 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    161

    subjunctive mood

    1 If I should go abroad, I would bring you a gift.
    2 If I were to marry you, I would be kind to you all my life.
    3 If you were to fail in the test, I would feel sad.

    Teachers, Are these three sentences correct? In my opinion, I think the first one is wrong, considering that emsr2d2 told me that the first "should" shouldn't be there at all in the sentence " If you should go to Italy to study next year, you should have started learning Italian three years ago." As for No.2; No.3, I think they are right.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,256

    Re: subjunctive mood

    You could use number 1 if you emphasize should. This would follow a statement that expressed doubt about the plan. "Were to" would be more typical in American English.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    PaulMatthews is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    508

    Re: subjunctive mood

    None of your examples contains a subjunctive clause.

  4. #4
    Mike12345 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    161

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    None of your examples contains a subjunctive clause.
    Thanks for answering! But 'Were' in the second sentence is the subjunctive form.

  5. #5
    Mike12345 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    161

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You could use number 1 if you emphasize should. This would follow a statement that expressed doubt about the plan. "Were to" would be more typical in American English.
    Thanks for answering! But why can't “should" be used in the sentence "If you should go to Italy to study next year, you should have started learning Italian three years ago."?

  6. #6
    probus's Avatar
    probus is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,841

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike12345 View Post
    Thanks for answering! But why can't “should" be used in the sentence "If you should go to Italy to study next year, you should have started learning Italian three years ago."?
    That sentence is nonsense. "If you should go next year..." is a future condition. In other words, it means the same as "In the event that you go" or "In case you go" or simply "If you go".

    Obviously, therefore, it can say nothing about the past. A future condition can only be a prelude to a statement about the future.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,120

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike12345 View Post
    1 If I should go abroad, I would bring you a gift.
    I would use I will bring there.

  8. #8
    PaulMatthews is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    508

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike12345 View Post
    Thanks for answering! But 'Were' in the second sentence is the subjunctive form.
    Not true. The "were" in the second sentence is 'irrealis mood'.

    A subjunctive clause is headed by a plain form verb, as in It is vital that I be kept informed.

  9. #9
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3,350

    Re: subjunctive mood

    It's very informative for me at least.
    I agree that it's a bit technical, though.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,120

    Re: subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Paul, the overwhelming majority of English grammars published in the last 431 years would say that the verb form in Mike's second sentence and that in your sentence in post #9 were subjunctive mood forms.

    Huddleston & Pullum (2002) and other grammarians in recent decades may not agree but, outside the world of academic linguistics. the word 'irrealis' is hardly known.

    If Mike is studying linguistics at university level, then he will need to learn about 'irrealis'. If he is trying to learn how to communicate effectively in English at any level from complete beginner to the highest IELTS level, then he does not.
    There are many terms and views that linguists prefer, and I would prefer to see many of them in place, but we have to accept the world we live in and deal with the realities of what is taught in many places, with good intentions, even when we disagree.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •